Systematic Innovation @ ORMS Today

Biology vs. Economy: A False Choice (a socio-technical analysis of COVID-19 in Italy and South Korea — with Livio Mariano @ Altair Engineering, a simulation vendor in Italy)

published as the lead article @ ORMS Today — the journal of operations research and management science

INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Science — the publisher of ORMS Today) counts 29 recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economics as authors

COVID-19 response from OR / MS perspective — it seems like we need to shine more of that light on this subject. A comprehensive problem-solving approach combined with rigorous quantitative analysis.

Our quantitative analysis of COVID-19 in Italy and South Korea produced potential implications for global response. We simulated the underlying biological parameters and their interactions with corresponding social interventions. We identified particular configurations that would enable policymakers to battle the virus without destroying the economy.

Our analysis suggests a combination of broad and narrow social interventions with increased emphasis on contact tracing; we anticipated the emergence of the Apple / Google initiative for a non-intrusive approach to contact tracing.


Systematic Innovation @ Product Camp 2019


What is Your Contradiction?

Start with a contradiction. If you’re planning to invest your precious time and energy in a product / service opportunity that doesn’t solve a contradiction, keep looking.

A contradiction is two opposing forces or dimensions that apparently can’t be improved simultaneously. We usually optimize across contradictions instead of solving them — by increasing one variable while decreasing the other variable. Optimization is not the same as resolution. Optimization produces incremental innovation; resolution produces radical / disruptive innovation. Optimization can be a distraction from discovering significant, long-term product / service value.

Solving a contradiction addresses the two essential elements of a viable business model: Customer value (delivering two dimensions that previously required a compromise) and competitive advantage (delivering customer value that the competition has not discovered and / or is not equipped to deliver).

This approach is a variant of a broad domain that is known as systematic innovation. I will describe how prominent innovators have used this approach to disrupt entire eco-systems in medical technology and information technology. I will describe how I used this approach to discover a Web middleware innovation that is currently generating a royalty stream.

Discover product / service value with systematic innovation. When you solve a contradiction, communicate your solution in the form of the contradiction that you solved. Until you discover a contradiction that you can solve — keep looking!


Product Camp 2019


Systematic Innovation @ Customer Focus 2019 — 9/19/2019

Amplifying Experience by Resolving Constraints

Systematic Innovation in Customer Experience

The practice of experience design is laden with constraints. We wrestle with constraints in every dimension and we compromise between opposing factors. We even presume that compromise is a fact of life — that it is inherent in experience design. We optimize across a set of constraints and we are grateful for an “optimal” solution.

In this session, we will envision the notion of ideal solutions as an alternative to optimal solutions. We will explore the principles and practices that enable the pursuit of ideal solutions. We will investigate the de-coupling of opposing forces that inhibit ideal solutions. We will discover some applications in the experience domain that have achieved the ideal by diverting the optimal.

Compromise is not inherent in experience design. Every truly disruptive innovation solves a contradiction; every solved contradiction was once an un-solved contradiction. Participants will gain the ability to start seeing ideal solutions among apparent constraints.


Customer Focus 2019

post @ LinkedIn

slides @ Google


Organizations as Systems / Socio-Technical Systems @ INCOSE — 7/11/2019

Organizations as Systems: Systems Engineering in Socio-Technical Systems

Systematic Innovation in Organizational Design

Various paradigms have been proposed for envisioning organizations: Organizations as machines, organizations as societies, organizations as organisms, organizations as brains. In this session, we will envision organizations as systems.

We will identify some principles of systems engineering that we find useful in modeling complex organizations as complex systems; we will explore some system archetypes / design patterns that we find useful in a systematic approach to organizational analysis; and we will share a model that we have developed for improving organizational performance.

We will identify the essential architectural feature of organizations that determines the difference between high and low performance and we will explore the articulation of that feature in a particular organizational context. The context that we will explore is particularly relevant to the systems engineering discipline and community; our exploration will equip systems engineers to identify opportunities for organizational improvement in any context.


post @ LinkedIn

slides @ Google